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Bangladesh has sustained a higher growth rate which has enabled it to progress at a fast pace.

By Asif Javed | March 2021


The recent report of the IMF has indicated that Bangladesh has overtaken Pakistan and India in terms of per capita GDP. According to IMF statistics, even amid Covid-19, Bangladesh might turn out to be the third highest growing economy in the world and the highest in Asia in 2020. There are only 23 countries which may achieve positive growth. Goldman Sach has forecast that Bangladesh may dominate the future world economy. The World Economic League has projected that the Bangladesh economy will be among the top 25 economies by 2035 based on its demographic dividend and rising per capita income. This has become possible based on effective government policies which helped in reviving the economy over the last few years.

Over recent years, Bangladesh has sustained a higher growth rate which has enabled it to progress at a fast pace. Pakistan’s growth rate remained lower as compared to Bangladesh’s growth rate.

It can be seen from the Table 1 that from 2015, Bangladesh’s growth rate is increasing continuously and in 2019 the highest growth rate of 8.2% was achieved. On the other hand, in 2020, Pakistan’s GDP growth rate plunged to negative due to Covid-19 and poor performance of the Large Scale Manufacturing sector. The Bangladesh population growth rate is now around 1%, which is lower than Pakistan’s growth rate of around 2%. Hence per capita income is growing at a rapid pace in Bangladesh as compared to Pakistan.

The textile sector is a major industry in both Bangladesh and Pakistan; it absorbs millions of workers and contributes significantly to the GDP of both economies. Bangladesh’s readymade garment exports are among the highest in the world. The cheap labour force and the minimum wage in Bangladesh gives it an edge over its competitors. The textile sector in Pakistan showed negative growth in FY 20.

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The writer is a research associate at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad. He can be reached at

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